§ 18. Sir W. Teeling
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will obtain from the Chief Constable a report on the steps which are to be taken to protect hoteliers and guest house keepers from the dangers of letting rooms to students of the University of Sussex who are in the practice of bringing in and leaving proscribed drugs in their rooms.
§ Mr. Elystan Morgan
No, Sir; but if the hon. Member is concerned about absolute offences under the law relating to dangerous drugs, I would refer him to the reply my right hon. Friend gave on 16th May to a Question by the hon. Member for Runcorn (Mr. Carlisle).— [Vol. 764, cc. 1391–2.]
§ Sir W. Teeling
Does the hon. Gentleman realise that at present the agreement with the University of Sussex has terminated and we are now starting a new one? The university is refusing to delete the clause that students should be allowed to bring male and female friends into their rooms in the hotels up to 11 o'clock at night. Does the hon. Gentleman realise—[Interruption.]
§ Sir W. Teeling
I would point out that people sometimes take drugs and peddle drugs when they go to their rooms. The hoteliers are nervous about getting caught and being held responsible and the university will not help them. They have been told that the Government may bring in some Act to protect them.
§ Mr. Morgan
This question obviously raises matters of rather wider import than drugs. I have no reason to believe that the hon. Gentleman's sweeping allegations against the students are justified. I 1675 would remind the hon. Gentleman that the full examination which my right hon Friend has set on foot, in conjunction with the Law Commission, will cover the whole sphere of absolute liability under the dangerous drugs laws. The need for legislation will be considered when this review is complete and also when the report of the Advisory Committee on Drug Dependance, concerning cannabis, is received.
§ Mr. Hogg
I realise that the review was only recently initiated, but will the hon. Gentleman accept that we on this side attach enormous importance to the danger of absolute liability attaching to people who are completely innocent? Will the hon. Gentleman do what he can to expedite the results of the review?